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The Cottage: Inside The Quaich

Some January inspiration

30th January 2020

Some January inspiration

I may speak too soon, but on my walk through West Princes Street Gardens this morning, I came across snowdrops in bloom – an encouraging sign that Spring may just be on its way! Snowdrops are one of the first signs of life in gardens after the long winter and a sure way to brighten the dark winter months.My brisk morning walks have inspired me to look up some extraordinary public parks and gardens from Edinburgh’s sister cities around the world – Florence’s Giardino delle Rose looks amazing!

Munich, Germany
The Royal Park at Nymphenburgh Palace, the central park at Hofgarten, the English Garden, the Botanic Gardens, the Olympic Park and the Hirschgarten make up Munich’s public greenspaces. The Olympic Park was converted from Munich’s 1972 Olympic arena into a space for physical activity, cultural, social, and religious events.

Nice, France
Le Jardin Albert 1er, Nice (otherwise known as the Albert I Garden) was recently revamped and now benefits from shaded seating areas, toilets, improved walkways, and even a refreshing mist that puffs up from the ground on hot and sunny days. Likely not something to worry about in our own West Princes Street Gardens…

Florence, Italy
The Boboli Gardens, Bardini Gardens and the Giardino delle Rose in Florence bring historic gardens to the next level. The Rose Garden is the perfect spot for a romantic stroll, boasting a collection of roses, lemons, and a complete Japanese Garden donated by the sister city of Kyoto. Bellissimo!

Dunedin, New Zealand
The Dunedin Botanic Garden is the oldest botanic garden in New Zealand and was established in 1863 surrounding the Water of Leith (sound familiar?). In July 2010, the Dunedin Botanic Gardens were awarded the rank “Garden of International Significance” and is one of only five Gardens in the world to be given the title.

Vancouver, Canada
Queen Elizabeth Park, Dr. Sun Yat Sen Chinese Garden, VanDusen Botanical Garden, and the Stanley Park Gardens make up some of the best parks in Vancouver. The Stanley Park Gardens boast 8 million visitors annually and allow visitors to discover kilometres of trails, beaches, local wildlife, natural, cultural and historic landmarks.

I’ve had meetings with our design team this week and it’s been fascinating to hear their thoughts on new garden designs to encourage biodiversity within West Princes Street Gardens. We’ve also had some exciting discussions with Noel Kingsbury, British garden designer and writer whose enthusiasm for the Quaich Project is very infectious.

I personally can’t wait to see the seeds – quite literally – start to take shape!

Jules Haston, Director of Development